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Are Holiday Parties a Workers’ Comp Hazard?

Are Holiday Parties a Workers’ Comp HazardAs most employers are aware, a New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Program is a critical coverage to carry. While most understand that this policy protects employees who are injured as a result of their job duties, most don’t even think twice about the potential for injury at a holiday party. While this may fall within a grey area, there are considerations to be made when determining if injuries sustained at these holiday functions warrant Workers’ Compensation coverage.

An employee can pursue a Workers’ Compensation claim for injury arising out of his or her employment, while injuries sustained while performing acts incidental to employment are compensable if it was deemed to have arisen out of employment, says Sterling Education.

However, determining if a company party is considered incidental is the core of the issue. For example, if the company party is not a required event, then the contingency for coverage that extends to required work duties would not apply. However, courts have found that if the company party serves as an additional bonus in compensating employees, then Workers’ Compensation regulations would extend coverage to employees who are injured at these events.

The level of encouragement for participation by the employer will also indicate whether or not the Workers’ Compensation will extend. If the employer encourages attendance, the holiday party could be considered an activity of employment. In addition, if awards or accolades are granted at these events, then the employer would be held liable for any injuries as this activity would be considered a part of employment.

At Associated Specialty Insurance Associates (ASIA), we specialize exclusively in Workers’ Compensation coverage. We understand the implications of holiday functions as they relate to your coverage. We offer comprehensive policies throughout our target states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida. For more information, contact our knowledgeable experts today at (866) 679-7457.

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